says it plans to invest $1.1 billion in its Kansas City, MO, assembly plant, $700 million more than previously announced.
The outlay will go toward a new body shop and tooling in the final assembly area, as well as an upgraded paint shop and an all-new integrated stamping plant.
Plans call for the plant to build the Transit fullsize commercial van, currently only available in European markets. The Transit will join’s North America lineup in 2013, the auto maker says.
The assembly line at Kansas City that presently builds the Escape cross/utility vehicle will be idled for re-tooling after the model is phased out in April, and will reopen in 2013. During retooling, the plant will continue to build F-150 trucks.
Production of the next-generation Escape is being transferred to Ford’s Louisville, KY, facility, the auto maker says.
Ford says it plans to increase F-150 production at Kansas City, which will build the trucks on two shifts instead of one beginning in May.
The move will bring about 800 additional workers to the plant, for a total of 1,700.